Sunday, September 7, 2008

Thomas S. Monson's introductory address

I really enjoy listening to Thomas S. Monson. He introduced the 178th General Conference with an address about the temples that have recently been dedicated and those that will be built soon. His choice of words and use of various rhetoric strategies helped to make his words memorable and interesting.
For example, when describing his experience in Idaho where he prayed that the rain would not ruin the celebrations for the temple, President Monson described Heavenly Father as "honor[ing]" his entreaty. He chose this specific phrase instead of a more general, "It didn't rain" or even "my prayer was answered." President Monson made Heavenly Father the active character and revealed to us a special aspect of prayer in his phrase--"HE honored that prayer."

President Monson also utilized repetition in some of his remarks. This is a great tool in oral rhetoric, especially, because the audience realizes that a list is coming, and they can focus on the aspects of the list rather than refocusing each time an aspect is given. President Monson said, "Some of you are just joining the church, we welcome you!" and "Some of you are struggling... we love and pray for you" rather than, "There have been baptisms, and I welcome those new members" and Some people in the church struggle through addictions, and the leaders here want to let you know that we are praying for and love you."

I love Conference. I know that we are offered the blessings of the word of God in General Conference. I didn't get to watch very much of this General Conference, because I was at the Saint George Marathon and I was ill, but I greatly look forward to watching and reading all of the sessions online and in the Ensign in the coming days and weeks.


Jenn said...

I think President Monson is so good at being eloquent and simple at the same time. He is always filled with the Spirit, he definitely delivered this past weekend!

Anonymous said...

wow, you really get this rhetoric stuff, wish i did lol. But anyway I totally agree, Pres. Monson is such an awesome speaker!

Peter M. said...

I agree with you, they are great speakers, and so full of the Spirit! I too noticed the parallel phrasing. Very cool